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Essays in this volume illustrate how shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Oz impact the public’s perception of crime rates, the criminal justice system, and imprisonment. Contributors look at prison wives on reality television series, portrayals of death row, breastfeeding while in prison, transgender prisoners, and black masculinity. They also examine the ways in which media messages ignore an individual’s struggle against an all too frequently biased system and instead dehumanize the incarcerated as violent and overwhelmingly masculine. Together these essays argue media reform is necessary for penal reform, proposing that more accurate media representations of prison life could improve public support for programs dealing with poverty, abuse, and drug addiction—factors that increase the likelihood of criminal activity and incarceration.
Scholars from cultural and critical studies, feminist studies, queer studies, African American studies, media studies, sociology, and psychology offer critical analysis of media depictions of prison, bridging the media’s portrayals of incarcerated lives with actual experiences and bringing to light forgotten voices in prison narratives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809336579
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 05/23/2018
Series: Perspectives on Crime and Justice Series
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 366
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Katherine A. Foss is an associate professor in the School of Journalism at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the author of Breastfeeding and Media: Exploring Conflicting Discourses That Threaten Public Health and Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Uniting Media, Prison, and Experience Katherine A. Foss 1

Section 1 Media Representations of Prison

1 Bims, Babes, and Molls in the Big House: The Women-in-Prison Genre Film L. Clare Bratten 25

2 Forever Imprisoned? Challenging the Gaze in Orange Is the New Black Rebecca Kern 48

3 Feminized Faith: The Intersectionality of Religion and Gender in Orange Is the New Black Joy Jenkins J. David Wolfgang 68

4 Dominating the (Female) Incarcerated Body: Gender and Medical Control in Prison Dramas Katherine A. Foss 89

5 Prison Wives: Providing a Voice to the Women behind Incarcerated Men S. Lenise Wallace 111

6 Dysfunctional Black Men: Representations of Race and Masculinity from the Days of Oz Adina Schneeweis 133

Section 2 Connecting Media to Experience

7 Stories from Death Row; Articulations behind the Scenes Emily Plec 153

8 Manufacturing Masculinity and Hope through Media Production Kalen Churcher 177

9 'In Here and Out There": The Lived Experiences of Women Lifers Meredith Huey Dye 192

10 "I Am More Than a Crime": Interviews with Women Who Kill Kathryn M. Whiteley 211

Section 3 Forgotten Voices in Media

11 Breastfeeding in Prison Amanda Barnes Cook 231

12 Agnes Goes to Prison: Gender Authenticity, Transgender Inmates in Prisons for Men, and Pursuit of the "Real Deal" Valerie Jenness Sarah Fenstermaker 253

13 Vagrant Masculinity: A Process of Masculine Self-Conceptualization in Formerly Incarcerated Black Men Le'Brian A. Patrick 282

14 Volunteering behind Bars: Negotiating Roles, Resources, and Relationships Pauline Matthey 309

Conclusions and Implications: Through the Distorted Window; Connecting Media to Experience Katherine A. Boss 329

Contributors 341

Index 345

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